Confident Vettel Offers Each-Way Value In Russia
Russian Grand Prix
Russia stages its very first Grand Prix this week at the Olympic site in Sochi. With no previous form available here, who will reign victorious?
The Season So Far
The horrific accident involving Jules Bianchi brought a premature end to last weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix on lap 44. Lewis Hamilton was in front at the time, so opened up a ten point gap over team-mate Nico Rosberg who was awarded second. Red Bull struck another blow in the battle for runners-up spot in the Constructors’ Championship as Sebastian Vettel grabbed his second consecutive podium spot and Daniel Ricciardo finished fourth, edging out the Williams drivers.
This is the first Grand Prix to be held in Russia and takes place at the Olympic site in Sochi. The proximity of some of the walls to the track give it the feel of a street circuit like Singapore, but the straight sections in Sochi are longer and some of the corners are faster, placing more emphasis on down-force. As this is a completely new track, grip may be a problem and variable weather will add to the challenge .
In The Pits
After threatening to overtake Red Bull in the Constructors’ Championship earlier in the season, the Williams team has fallen back and Suzuka was a disappointing race for them as both Felipe Massa and Valtteri Bottas failed to build on second row starting positions.
Their cars struggled in wet conditions last time and with rain a possibility in Russia this weekend and the track not likely to play to their strengths anyway, neither driver makes much betting appeal.
The battle for the Drivers’ Championship long ago became a two-horse race and the consensus appears to be that Hamilton, having overtaken Rosberg, will pull away over the remaining four races.
But the German is far from finished. He had problems with his rear tyres in Japan, to add to the mechanical problems that hampered his chances in Singapore, and it is worth noting that he has the best record in qualifying, securing eight poles to Hamilton’s six. He’s been underrated in the market all season and that remains the case this week. Back Rosberg for victory at 15/8.
Whether it is anything to do with the announcement that he will be moving to Ferrari next season, Sebastian Vettel has been driving with plenty of confidence in recent races.
He earned his best result of the season so far in Singapore and last week was poised to challenge Rosberg when the race came to a premature end.
Sochi is likely to be faster than Singapore, but there are some similarities between the two circuits and although the Red Bull is still unable to compete with the Mercedes in terms of straight line speed, they are still the closest challengers. With four races to go, the reigning champion will be hungry to end a disappointing season on a high and is a decent bet at odds of 16/1 in Russia.